Unbowed – Dogma

Unbowed_RingMaster Review

Two years ago Canadian metallers Unbowed grabbed thick attention and praise with debut album Collapse The World. It was a raw and ravenous slab of black metal atmospherics fused with death metal corrosion; blackened death metal with melodic tendencies that was unafraid to push it and its creator’s boundaries. It was also rich in open potential which has now been nurtured to striking effect for new EP Dogma. Offering four atmospherically primal and raw yet creatively elegant tracks, the release sees the Ontario duo breach a new plateau of songwriting and sound whilst opening fresh potential suggesting even bigger triumphs to come.

Formed in 2011 as a studio project by multi-instrumentalist Alex Snape and vocalist Ioan Tetlow, Unbowed proceeded to release a self-titled demo EP, the aforementioned Collapse The World, and bring together a live line-up which has played a host of shows and shared stages with the likes of Battlecross, Einherjer, The Contortionist, and Erimha throughout Ontario. Their bracingly invasive and imaginatively provocative sound has seen the band’s reputation grow within the underground spreading outwards and you suspect things are set to erupt with greater strength again as Dogma infests ears.

Unbowed Dogma - Final Cover Art_RingMaster ReviewThe EP opens with The Bleeding Throne; an enveloping of the senses and imagination from its first breath marked with a herald of melodies and atmospheric keys. It is a welcoming if portentous prelude to a rampant cascade of rabid riffs and matching rhythms within a wave of intensity as catchy as the thrash like canter that emerges from it. The craft and sound of Snape quickly impresses and works away on appreciative ears whilst the raw throated vocal squalls of Tetlow add a just as effective drama and predatory temper to the tapestry of provocative sounds around him. Thoughts of warriors, deceptions, and bloody turbulence are easy casting for the imagination as the song expands its sonic narrative, but equally there is an exotic beauty and expressive majesty to the song which grips the listener. It all further enhanced by the tendrils of varied metal and livelier variety in the vocals with blossom throughout.

It is a gripping and fascinating start which continues in the even more confrontational Besieged; though it too spins a web of guitar enterprise and rhythmic tenacity as infectiously alluring as it is barbarously intimidating. With sweeping melodies and expressive keys, you can visual the setting for the song’s drama and narrative. Broad and expansive, harsh yet beauteous landscapes are visualised, providing the canvas for the resourceful and enthralling imagination of the two musicians. As the first, the song bewitches as its trespasses, leaving a hunger for more which the closing pair of The Fall and Echoes of Cernunnos heftily satisfy. The first merges consuming textures and destructive virulence with flowing ambiences around epically poetic melodies whilst its successor provides an animus of ill-intent and immersive sufferance brewed with sonic rabidity. Both take unexpected and dramatically contrasting turns, the first especially enthralling with its melancholic and tainted reflections. The final song is more concentrated in its core attack but around its invasive spine, Snape creates a realm of celestial grandeur and earthbound intimacy coloured by the great vocal abrasion of Tetlow.

Dogma is superb, a release which only reveals more depths and corners with every listen. It leaves the band’s potent last album pale in comparison and equally many a black and death metal emprise heard in recent times.

Dogma is available from February 12th @ http://unbowedofficial.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 12/02/2016

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Siriun – In Chaos We Trust

Siriun 2

It might have the title In Chaos We Trust but there is nothing random and bedlamic about the debut album from Brazilian progressive metallers Siriun. Certainly the release is a furious and blistering merging of varied creative winds within extreme metal but comes entwined in a superbly imaginative and inventive technical prowess across songwriting and sound. Recognisable essences and established flavours consort with fresh and invigorating ideation, the result one thrilling and thoroughly gripping proposition.

Siriun is the brainchild of Rio De Janeiro guitarist/vocalist Alexandre Castellan, a project formed in 2014 to give an avenue to his musical ideas and creative tenacity. It was a proposal he intended would also be enriched with the strongest creative heart and invention possible, an intent which led to the band line-up of long-time friend and bassist Hugo Machado, and the rhythmic tour-de-force that is drummer Kevin Talley (Six Feet Under, Daath, Feared, Suffocation, Devil Driver, BattleCross) alongside its creator. The subsequent outcome of the union is the hellacious and fascinating In Chaos We Trust, an album bringing the metal world another intensively striking and ferocious proposal from Brazil.

The album first embraces and ignites ears with Mass Control, a track swiftly luring strong attention through its opening wash of melodic endeavour and sonic enterprise alone. The guitar of Castellan virtually flirts with ears, coaxing and enticing before a consuming wall of rhythms pounce. The powerful beats of Talley bring intimidation and temptation whilst the snarling tones of Machado’s bass, though less intrusive, only adds to the emerging predatory nature of the track. It is an impressive start soon casting a just as magnetic storm of scarring riffs and rhythmic voracity. Castellan’s vocals bring their own caustic but also an alluring texture and enticing to the increasingly gripping encounter, their raw and pleasingly varied expression and colour immense within the expanding web of melodic and progressive exploration. At its and indeed the album’s heart, the encounter is a beast though, prowling and growling with almost malevolent aggression and emotion, but consistently baiting its animus with transfixing imagination alongside seriously skilful and anthemic enterprise.

Siriun Artwork 1    The following Infected is just as riveting and mighty, and again straight away holding ears and thoughts tight through the breath-taking craft of Talley courted by a potent acoustic caress of guitar. Of course skirting it all are shadows and a more hostile intent, one which is soon driving the great carnivorous tones of bass and the just as swiftly riled riffs. It is the contagious swings of Talley’s beats though forcibly leading the tempting, their devilry like a sinister and hostile carnival bringing Latin seeded percussive revelry into a courtship with hellish animosity. The track continues to twist and incite through every dramatic aspect, the fingers of Castellan manipulating strings for a fluid and enthralling tapestry of sonic and acoustic melodic captivation.

There is no dipping of adventure and craft, or in an already greedy appetite for the release, as both Spread of Hate and Cosmogenesis seize ears and the imagination. The first of the pair is a blistering fury of sound and attitude, but again reined a touch by the technical invention and skills of the trio, something you can attribute to all songs upon In Chaos We Trust. Ravenous and enthralling in equal measure, the song roars like a mix of Sepultura, Mudvayne, and Devildriver yet entwines its roar in a melodic exploration opening up a unique and mouth-watering adventure. Its successor is a brief instrumental, an acoustic flame within a cold and haunting ambience within which a seduction of electric guitar provides evocative light. It leads into the just as shadowed and initially emotionally imposing and portentous title track. Though that suggestive threat and darkness never leaves, the song soon explores a landscape of provocative melodies and imagination within that tempest in waiting. There is an increasing pressure though bred from bass and drums though, a weight which eventually breaks down resistance and explodes in an onslaught of thrash drawn riffery and death metal vitriol. Again though, it is a passing passage in a journey of a song, part of an evolution which never waits around too long in one train of thought and sound keeping ears and imagination enslaved.

Transmutation steps up next and another web is spun around senses and thoughts, another offering relishing the skills and invention of every band member. Talley has brought his most viciously creative endeavour to the release, perfectly supported by the rabid craft of Machado whilst Castellan vocally and especially in his guitar explorations, leads the listener through a roller coaster of enterprise and emotion with ideas which rarely leave ears less than engrossed even if in rare moments the fluidity of twists are not as polished as elsewhere. It is almost a clutching at straws though to try and temper the weight of the enthusiasm for the release, a ‘lust’ continuing through the emotive and physical turbulence of Transmutation. As uncompromising and venomous as it is engagingly colourful in exotic melodies, the song bellows with creative toxicity sparking once more a hunger for more.

It is a want immediately fed by the closing pair of Intent and Becoming Aware. Each explore yet new spices and exploratory endeavours in their ferocious bodies, the first brewing a waspish nagging in its riffery and a sultry climate around its winery of melodies and sonic intrusion. It all comes ruffled up by the muscular avalanche of Talley’s swings and the grouchiness of Machado’s bass whilst the closing track brings the album to a climactic end. Though it is arguably the least inventively inflammatory and breath-taking of all the tracks, it has ears ringing and thoughts contemplating ardour whilst hoping this union of three exceptional musicians is the first of many.

In Chaos We Trust is an exhilarating encounter, one managing to offer sounds and flavours which provide at times a very familiar canvas to leap upon but just as powerfully create a proposition that reeks of fresh invention and new adventure. Simply it is a mighty mix from a project with the potential to craft truly inspiring templates for progressive and extreme metal ahead.

In Chaos We Trust is available now via http://www.siriunband.com


RingMaster 24/03/2015

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Dark Century – Murder Motel


A release which can just as easily raise a wide grin as it can an urge to go violate something, Murder Motel is an exhaustive and exhilarating corruption from a band clad in imposing and compelling devilry. Dark Century comes with a potent buzz behind them and their new album easily reveals why as it ignites ears, imagination, and a greedy appetite for their fusion of death, thrash, grind with a viciously healthy course of hardcore. It is a release which has plenty in it to feed expectations but also comes with a just as rich soak of originality to thrust The Canadian quintet into a spotlight of its own.

Formed in 2001 by guitarist Martin Gendreau, Dark Century has built an impressive reputation and presence over the years around Montreal and beyond. It is a time sign-posted by their excellent and well-received debut album Days of the Mosh as well as a live presence which has seen them alongside the likes of Aborted, Misery Index, Quo Vadis, Rose Funeral, Exhumed, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Goatwhore, Origin, The Faceless, Battlecross, Fuck the Facts and many more as well as light up numerous festivals. With a new line-up Dark Century return with their monstrously towering new incitement, an album which puts the band on a new plateau. Produced by Chris Donaldson (Cryptopsy, Mythosis, Erimha, The Agonist, Derelict, Neuraxis) with Gendreau, Murder Motel is a storming onslaught from start to finish, a ravenous bestial proposition veined by incessantly riveting imagination and unpredictable twists.

     In Our Veins starts things off and is soon careering through the same network of the listener with riffs grazing every surface they can find and rhythms voraciously pummelling the senses. It is a ferocious start which aided by the raw thrust of the vocals and that rhythmic tsunami, only intensifies its assault the further into its destructive arms you sink. Drummer Steve Burns is exceptional from the off but also is the stringed ravishment from Gendreau whilst the slightly varied and excellent caustic tones of vocalist Leather King and the predatory bass incitement of Francis Lafrenière equally steal their share of attention and acclaim.

The fine start hits another gear with the following title track where again a mere breath is taken before a disorientating rhythmic assault and bass grilling consumes the senses. Little time passes neither before a swagger and violent swing to the track wraps its irresistible temptation around a by now rampant appetite, the track lurching over and provoking the emotions with mischievous designs and violent intent. Here as with a few songs there is something familiar to the proposal offered but it only eases the accessibility of the track for the eagerly offered passions. The solo from Erik Fernet-Evans is a plume of intrigue and drama to colour further the potent canvas of the song as it drifts away at its end for Torticolis to seize its portion of attention. Rabid and intensively imposing, the track grips with carnal intent and flesh savaging sounds, its breath toxic and riffery a torrential assault driven harder by the severity of the Burns’ rhythmic spite.

Knees might already be buckling at this point and senses cowering in fear but hunger for more is insatiable and fed healthily by the brief but intensive predation of Ice Breaker and the fearsome rage of new single Kill The Crowd. The latter’s touch is as violent and scarring as anything heard before on the album but is aligned to a masterful persuasion of heavy metal coaxing and hardcore ravaging. Add the irresistible swinish grind twists and vocals plus the teasing cowbell, as well as the horde chants and you have another irrepressible capture of thoughts and emotions, but one exceeded even more by the brilliant Dead Birds. It is one of those addictions impossible to shrug off with the track from its anthemic rhythmic entrance stamping its authority over ears and excitement, crowding and preying on the senses with primal riffs and vocal voracity. It is just one of the structures ready to subjugate the passions, a heavy intensity laden consumption taking its sizeable portion of the adventure under its control just as firmly as the underlying but easily detectable excitable grooves have their appealing say.

   The four second Trio du Bûcheron comes next and there really is little to say about it. Neither working as an intro nor making any impact being so short, it is just there before both Cholestérol and Chloroforme cast their severity over ears. The first is another merciless gorging of the senses with piggish vocals, hellish rhythms, and a sonic weave of skilled enterprise igniting the otherwise pleasing if underwhelming song, in comparison to previous maelstroms. Its successor is similar in its presence, formidable and undeniably impressively crafted but failing to spark the same rapture. Nevertheless both keep band and album in solid control before the closing pair of firstly Mosh Test Dummies and the closing Gore On My Snare ensnare ears to inflame responses all over again. The first of the final two initially stalks and stares venomously at its recipient, its approach reserved but only for a deceptive moment as the song soon uncages its sinews and rigorous ingenuity to smother and savage all before its predatory strides. Its companion is pure blistering barbarity, everything from riffs to rhythms and vocals to creativity a masterclass of bloodlusting malevolence. It is demanding physically and emotionally making a scintillating conclusion to a tremendous provocation.

The album comes with recommendations that fans of bands such as Dying Fetus, Cannibal Corpse, Six Feet Under, Hatebreed, and Annihilator will get a hot flush from Murder Motel, but we suggest anyone with a lust for inventive and revelling extreme metal will find Dark Century a new best friend.

The self–released Murder Motel is available now @ http://darkcentury.bandcamp.com/album/murder-motel



RingMaster 19/04/2014

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The Hate Colony – Dead Or Victorious


We might be coming late to the party but with Norwegian metallers The Hate Colony working on their new full-length a look at their debut album is definitely in order as we wait for what is already a highly anticipated follow-up. Originally released two years ago, Dead Or Victorious is an invigorating tempest of passion and aggressive intent which ticks all the right boxes for intensively sculpted and carnivorously delivered metal. Skilled and expertly unleashed, the album is a raw unbridled brawl with the senses, a promise soaked confrontation providing a sizeable and potent basis for the band’s sophomore full-length to evolve from. Time will tell if the band do grow or remain within the extended arms provided by Dead Or Victorious, but if the latter you still feel it will still be a richly satisfying slab of accomplished brutality as their debut.

The Trondheim hailing quintet it is fair to say upon Dead Or Victorious, are not setting down new markers or breaking boundaries but certainly at times worrying them with a fine vein of imagination within the excellently crafted songwriting and performance. It means there are no major surprises in store but equally the album never offers a song or moment when attention is allowed to wander or hanker for other things. From the opening notes and rhythmic punches of Cornered a greedy appetite is awoken as riffs and rhythms rigorously sniff around the senses, pressuring and barracking them into submission. The track is a ravenous storm of provocative and contagious intent, squalling varied vocal attacks as magnetic as the twisting sounds and ideas raging within the body of the song. As mentioned it is hard to say that there is something dramatically new going on but with enticing melodic craft and teasing veining the onslaught, it is one wholly captivating start.

Your Murder Scene takes no prisoners either, bass and drums preying on the ears as the guitars stroke an elevated hunger for covertheir exploratory touch and almost arrogant predation. It is a track which makes an immediate strongly appealing impression but also smoulders beneath its fury to ignite an even greater passion over time. Its elegant acoustic finale is a mouth-watering bridge into Diggin’ Deeper, a song which continues the evocative gentle persuasion for a fair amount of magnetic time before uncaging thunderous beats and a primal torrent of heavily clad riffs alongside the ever caustic and varied vocal voraciousness. The song gnaws at the senses across the whole of its rapacious presence, its antagonistic jaws a persistent provocateur ensuring an addictive slavery is forged upon the listener right up to its final squalling seamless passing over into Lies, another track which towers over the ears with spite in its rhythmic heart and venomous rabidity in its creative eyes. The song and album to this point certainly gives neck muscles an intensive workout which only continues as the release charges on through each exhausting track.

The more classic metal seeded Wall of Sanctuary with its almost niggling sonic enterprise steps forward next, vocals stretching themselves yet again for diversity and passion and though the song does not quite live up to its predecessors it leaves no one short on thought and inventively delivered adventure. The same can be said about Cottonmouth, a track which prowls and stalks the senses whilst seeding sinew built shadows in the imagination. As its predecessor the song is a formidable concentration of intensity and intimidation through striking craft but surprisingly lacks the killer touch to inflame the emotions as earlier tracks. There is not something truly memorable to come back and haunt the memory away from its presence, something which you can lay against maybe too much of the album, though it is the only issue.

Both the acidically poisonous No Sympathy and the corrosively enterprising and enthrallingly ravaging Remember Me keep the infectious toxicity of the album boiling, the second of the pair an ever shifting blaze of intrigue soaked adventure which is as unpredictable and gripping as it is virulently ferocious. It is left to the title track to close up the savagery which it does with arguably the albums most vicious and intensive point, though there are plenty of contender moments throughout the album.

Without setting flaming tyre marks on the surface of brutal metal, Dead or Victorious is a powerful entrance for The Hate Colony, one which offers the seeds for unique and limits spearing invention which you suspect and definitely hope the band’s second album will bloom. If the likes of Sylosis, Heart Of A Coward, and Battlecross feed your needs than The Hate Colony has a full menu to feast upon



RingMaster 21/11/2013

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Armoured passions: an interview with Tony Asta of Battlecross

Tony Asta

Having been beaten into blissful surrender by and enlisted to the aggressive cry of debut album Pursuit of Honor, US metallers Battlecross are taking our passions on a stronger and immensely hungrier fury with its exhilarating successor War of Will, an album which is an onslaught of unbridled passion and untethered ferocity. Seizing on the opportunity to explore the band, past and present, and their album further we had the pleasure of talking with guitarist Tony Asta.

Hi and thanks for sharing your time to talk with us.

My pleasure, thank you for the opportunity.

Before we look at your new ‘breath-taking onslaught of adrenaline crafted metal’ War of Will, can you for those still to feel the might of Battlecross, give some background to the band and its members?

Sure! Hiran Deraniyagala and I started the band in 2003 and went through numerous line-up changes while performing in our local area. In 2008 we joined forces with artist manager Velda Garcia and began taking things to the next level with the addition of Don Slater on bass and later Kyle “Gumby” Gunther on vocals (2010). Battlecross has always been about writing and performing kick ass metal, the music we want to hear, regardless of the current trends or popular styles of metal of the times. We signed with Metal Blade Records in 2011, who released our debut album “Pursuit of Honor” (which is actually a re-release of our self-released album “Push Pull Destroy 2010”, but with Gumby’s vocals instead of our original singer Marshall Wood). From Pursuit of Honor, our #1 single “Push Pull Destroy” has over 2 million YouTube views, and numerous tracks off the album have been featured on Sirius XMs Liquid Metal since its release. As of July 9th our 2nd album “War of Will” is now available and features the one and only Shannon Lucas on drums. Currently, Kevin Talley is filling in this summer and is working very well with us, while on Mayhem as I type this. We released a lyric video for “Flesh & Bone” featuring live footage from Orion Music + More and a music video for “Never Coming Back”. So far “War Of will” is kicking ass and going strong.

How would you say the band has developed over the years and certainly between Pursuit of Honor and its successor War of Will?

We have grown as a band very much since 2011. Our experiences from the road and learning from other bands has really helped mature our minds. Like a sponge we have absorbed some tricks of the trade and gained a lot of experience over the past couple years. But we also know we will never stop learning, while keeping an open mind and being open to criticism and suggestions is a healthy path to growth. Musically our song writing has matured and I think it’s evident when you listen to the new album. There is a greater focus on the overall feel of the songs individually, yet the songs don’t sound alike.

Did you have any deliberate intent with the new album or just let things evolve organically?

The new album was deliberately intended to kick ass. That was our main goal. All songs start with a solid riff or two, or maybe a killer skeleton of a song. Something has to inspire the song so we can all build off of it. It has to be intriguing enough to us to want to work with it; there is no settling for something so/so. We recorded “War of Will” at Audiohammer studios in Florida, USA with producers Mark Lewis and Eyal Levi. They pushed us to become the best we can and really help us create an album far beyond our expectations.

We in our review said War of Will took on all the great aspects, flavours, and inspirations of your previous album and took them into new torrents of ferocity and inventive power. We also suggested it was a release concentrating on being undemanding on boundaries but one delivering a fresh take and interpretation of existing armoury with unbridled passion and untethered aggression. Is that a fair summery of the release would you say?

Thanks! I like that. What you think of the album is your choice and I would never try to correct or taint you opinion or interpretation with my own. The beauty of this art form is it’s all in the eye of the beholder. All I can say is thank you for liking it!

Were you in any way intimidated by or nervous from the success of Pursuit of Honor when it came to not only writing and creating the new album but also in regard to its release?

There was some pressure to out-do “Pursuit of Honor” when it came time to write the newest album. I was under a lot of stress at times to write something amazing but it’s really all in my head. As long as we keep pushing ourselves to write the best we can as a band it’s obvious we must be doing something right. It helps to remove your own creative limitations when you’re trying to write something. Don’t box yourself in and just write what you feel, its honesty.

What did you learn with the first album which you employed more strongly or avoided with the recording of War of Will?1001014_10153004469630612_631685857_n

The production was definitely something we really wanted to take to the next step. The first album sounds pretty good, we were really limited with our budget, but we really wanted to record everything 100% real this time around if we could afford it. The original studio we went to (Random Awesome, Michigan, USA) has the capabilities to do so; however we wanted to try a new experience. With help from our label we were able to afford the production we wanted at Audiohammer (Florida, USA). On “War of Will” all the drums are real, nothing is programmed or quantized. However the kick drums were triggered and sampled, but they were barely edited at all. Shannon is a BEAST. All guitars were re-amped through a Peavey XXX head into a mic’d cab. Real bass and no vocal effects but we did do some overdubbing. The end result: it turned out fantastic and it’s all real sounds and performances.

Did you approach the recording of War of Will with a particular idea or purpose to its creation which again differed from your first release?

The main intent is always to keep up the energy and the listener on edge. That’s just the way we like our metal. There’s a time and place for aggression and melody on the flip side. There’s a way to balance it so you feel like you’re on a freight train or a roller coaster as your listening. When the music pumps you up enough to bang your head or hit the pit than I know we’ve done our job.

How does the writing and evolving of songs work within Battlecross?

Guitars always come first and they always will. We haven’t changed our writing style very much at all, but it has become more convenient with the implementation of technology. Being able to record our own demos to send to each other for ideas has really helped out a lot. It‘s very important to take a step back and LISTEN and get others’ perspectives on the material. Also finishing a complete thought is very important. Take the idea as far as you like and then let everyone critique it and add their flavor.

Was making the album a long process from writing though to release?

“Get Over It” was written in 2010 and the rest of the album was written in the past year. Even some of it was written this January, right before we left to do a tour with In Flames (and then immediately into the studio).

Are you a band which generally likes to have songs almost completed before going into the studio or prefer them to find their characters there?

We prefer to have the songs 90% in the bag when we hit the studio. All main guitar riffs and song compositions and arranging should be done before hand. We have found the vocals come out much better in the studio, having the minds with the experience help guide us really pushed Gumby’s phrasing and technique to the next level. I also got a lot of tips from Eyal Levi with my leads to really make them stand out and a few arrangement critiques from Mark Lewis as well that really trimmed some last minute filler off the songs. The studio definitely adds character to the record, but the meat of the album was already written before we went in. And that’s the way it should be. You don’t want everyone else writing your record, its best to be as prepared as possible.

As you have already talked about, the production on War of Will is impressive in its ability to allow your raw energy and passion to call out with as clarity as the other tempestuous aspects of the album. Give us some more details about how things and those involved created that side.

Producers Mark Lewis and Eyal Levi recorded the album at Audiohammer studios Florida, USA. We worked one on one with them to guarantee the best album possible. Jason Suecof additionally helped Gumby with some lyric phrasing ideas and also provides a guest-solo on the song “Beast”, which is totally killer.

Battlecross 2Flesh & Bone and Beast are our favourite tracks here, well today as it seems to change with every listen ha-ha. Can you give us some background to those and to the overall ‘theme’ of the album?

It took me a long time to write “Flesh & Bone” because I had a sound in my head I felt and wanted to perfect. As the ideas started rolling out it became evident that it could become a really awesome jam and trying to harness that energy was a lot of fun for me. The feeling it gives me is similar to “Push Pull Destroy” but on steroids and performing that song live gives me goosebumps. “Beast” was primarily written by Hiran and the first time we heard those riffs were blown away. It’s just so dark and pissed and heavy, we absolutely love it. For me “Beast” is a song that really came alive in the studio, with the addition of Jason Suecof’s guest guitar solo and Gumby’s pounding vocals.

You mentioned him at the start but we have to mention the impressive drum and rhythmic seduction on the album provided by the impressive Shannon Lucas. How did you link up with him and can you again clarify the drummer arrangements for future live or recorded opportunities for the band?

Shannon is a good friend of ours and he offered to provide his drumming skills for the album once he found out we parted ways with our former drummer. It was truly a godsend that Shannon was available and willing to help us in such a pinch. He is truly a remarkable drummer and a really great person, and we are so grateful to have him be a part of this. He is not interested in a full time gig, as he somewhat recently parted ways with The Black Dahlia Murder, to pursue his own personal ambitions.

You have shared stages with some of the heavyweights of metal over the past year or so, Five Finger Death Punch, Killswitch Engage, Trivium, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Deftones, Suicidal Tendencies , Municipal Waste, Corrosion of Conformity we can go on and on…and will continue to as 2013 evolves I am sure as well as your own headline shows. It is easy to imagine this is the area where the band are really in their element, so is playing live where you get the greatest satisfaction and pleasure?

Absolutely, and that goes for all of us. The live shows is where it’s at for us. It’s the reason for living; it’s when I am at my most complete happiness. Nothing compares to being on that stage and feeling the music and the crowd and the lights and the ENERGY. We are definitely a live band and we are very appreciative of our fans. We stop at nothing to hang out at our merch booth and give everyone an opportunity to meet us, sign autographs and take pictures.

So what will the rest of the year see from you live then, what festivals and events have you got lined up and with whom?

We are currently on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival until August 4th (with a few off-dates to get us back home). We will take part in the GWAR BQ in Richmond, VA with GWAR August 17th. Then we hit the road with Hatebreed in the states for about 3 weeks in late September/early October. After that is yet to be announced. We would love to come to Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, you name it, we want to be there.

It is hard to believe how you managed to fit in making the album with your hunger to play live, was there never a thought to take a Battlecrossbreak for it and will you continue to merge both gigging and recording in the future do you think?

We will always be writing, gigging, staying relevant because we are here to stay. At our level there really isn’t such thing as a break when you want to be successful. We always have to be pushing because we are hungry. We have to strike when it’s hot and keep the ball rolling, because it’s a “no pain no gain” type of thing.

Once again many thanks for talking with us. Anything you would like to leave our readers?

Thank you very much for the opportunity! Thank you everyone for checking out BATTLECROSS. Our new album “War of Will” on Metal Blade Records is now available in stores and online at www.metalblade.com/battlecross, iTunes, Amazon, etc.

Please visit www.battlecrossmetal.com for all up to date news and tour dates! \m/

Read the War of Will review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/battlecross-war-of-will/

Pete Ringmaster

The RingMaster Review 21/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Battlecross: War of Will


Two years ago US metallers Battlecross impressed with debut album Pursuit of Honor, a release which pooled a potent and powerful blend of classic, thrash, and death metal into twelve ferocity driven senses withering tracks. It was possibly not steeped in ground breaking originality but compensated with a sound which ravaged and thrilled with exhausting hunger. The Detroit band now return with its successor, the again Metal Blade Records released War of Will, and taking the same flavours and inspirations into its torrent of heavy metal fury stands as a big, if again undemanding on boundaries, step forward. It is a breath-taking onslaught of adrenaline crafted metal brought with unbridled passion and untethered aggression, and simply irresistible.

All the elements which powered its predecessor into the passions return; the rapacious riffing, uncompromising rhythms, and the deliciously predatory basslines all remain at the core of the sound but taken to another depth of enterprise and skilled effectiveness. Featuring this time around the drumming skills of Shannon Lucas who arguably adds an extra antagonism to the rhythmic potency of the band, War of Will roars before the ear like a muscle fuelled gladiator and promotes the band into an even greater and formidable presence within metal, backing up their impressive reputation garnered from live performances at numerous festival and sharing stages with the likes of Five Finger Death Punch, Killswitch Engage, Trivium, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Deftones, Suicidal Tendencies Municipal Waste, Corrosion of Conformity and many more.

Co-produced at Audio Hammer Studios with famed producers Mark Lewis and Eyal Levi, War of Will rips at the ear from its veryBattlecross - War of Will first second as opener Force Fed Lies stands eye to eye with the senses, challenging them to flee before gripping them by the throat and showering them with exhausting rhythms, equally commanding riffs, and furies of vocal enterprise, not forgetting tantalising grooves. Into its stride the track provides a steady wall of provocation which expels flames of melodic enticement from its sinew clad battlefronts. The vocals of Kyle Gunther deliciously squall with serpentine intent as they ride the crest of the sonic abrasiveness and at times is joined by a sturdier pose to snatch a lift on the continually impressive grooves. It is a mighty start which ignites the greed for more of the same.

     Flesh & Bone follows with a melodic tease to its armoury, riffs and tight feisty grooves bringing a fiery narrative to the infection soaked track. The guitars of Tony Asta and Hiran Deraniyagala create compelling colour soaked sonic endeavour alongside the insatiable riffs which ignite the senses throughout the album but here they carve an adventure far from the more direct aggressive confrontations elsewhere which is just scintillating and inspires equal imagination in the thoughts. It is an enthralling slice of inventive imagination and a benchmark for the rest of the album.

The cantankerous Never Coming Back with its belligerent rhythms and vocal scowling sear the flesh of the ear next, its battering intensity speared with further flames of riveting sonic hues from the guitar, soon followed by the equally and arguably similar malevolent provocation of My Vaccine. With the bass lines of Don Slater coursing moodily through the track it is not a song which has the drama or impact of previous songs but still keeps attention and hunger bubbling for Get Over It to exploit with its unpredictable savagery and inventive manipulation held in a rhythmic caging alongside insidiously bred grooves,  the bass again finding a stronger rabidity to its presence. Wholly infectious and matching in intimidation it is another powerful highlight of the album.

The likes of the thrash cured Ghost Alive, the tempestuous The Will To Take Over with its treacherous sonic terrain, and the threatening raptorial Beast provide further notable moments on the album though every song makes an explosively satisfying companion even if not all linger after their departure in thoughts. The third of this trio stalks the senses with roaming grooves and magnetically luring riffs which combine to enslave the passions and pull the passions deeper into the release, the solo and melodic imagination an extra feast of pleasure and certainly long remaining once off to find new flesh to savage.

The exceptional track is followed by closer Never-Ending Night, a song which choices a more predictable stance to make its final statement. It is a more than decent proposition but possibly the album would have been better ending on the intense height of the previous track. It does not stop War of Will from being an impressive and exciting antagonist and confirming Battlecross as one of the best emerging heavy metal bands this decade.



RingMaster 09/07/2013


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Battlecross – Pursuit of Honor

Distinct uniqueness and originality is a few and far between occurrence in music today, the possibility of finding something that is so new that jaws drop and heartbeats stop is becoming as rare as honesty in politicians. So the next best thing is a band that uses elements from elsewhere to flavour and expand their own sound to create something that does nothing less than warm the soul and devour the senses. Detroit thrash metalers Battlecross are such a band and with their debut for Metal Blade Records they have delivered just an album.

Pursuit of Honor brings a potent and powerful blend of classic, thrash, and death metal in a broiling desensitising mix across twelve withering tracks. You can hear stabs and slices of Maiden, Slayer, Testament, Lamb of God, and Devildriver and the like throughout the album but all enclosed within the Battlecross fist and might. The drums of Michael Kreger take no prisoners and to be honest are worth listening to the album for alone, the driving and maniacal bass lines of Don Slater slaughter all before whilst the riffs and scything guitars of Tony Asta and  Hiran Deraniyagala create havoc and essential melodic strikes in equal measure. Steering the unrelenting beast is vocalist Kyle Gunther, his deep throaty growling and venom spouting delivery elevating the sounds into demonic proportions.  

The album quietly ambles in on the short melodic title track setting up the ear for the immediate onslaught from ‘Push Pull Destroy’. The song goes right for the jugular with driving riffs, impressive bass lines and attention seeking twin guitars that engage without any sign of pretension. The track is a sign of things to come as tracks like ‘Kaleb’, ‘Deception’, and ‘Man Of Stone’ come and go with ultimate effect. The latter of the three especially shows the bands ability to bring different sub genres of metal together effectively, the classic metal guitars playing upon some instinctive thrash riffs and death metal vocal chicanery.

Dead centre in the track listing for Pursuit of Honor is the release’s best track by far. ‘Breaking You’ is a masterful, immense brute of a track. Its incessant scathing attack through drums, the bass, and vocals are littered with defiant riffs and swarming melodic stings from the guitars. This track is what words like ‘classic’ were invented for. The song alone on the album leaves one gasping for air and clawing at the walls for sanctuary.

Though the remaining tracks do not live up to that moment when the world of Battlecross came together in perfection, there are some strong songs that should not be simply passed over. ‘Leech’ and ‘Better Off Dead’ both are brutal and blood stirring moments whilst ‘Misery’ again raises the bar for the album with its infectious and virulent attack.

Pursuit of Honor is a fine and very enjoyable album. Yes many will point to the lack of any real originality on the album but that accusation can be thrown at 90% of bands these days. What Battlecross has given is a release that does what one can only really ever ask of any album, give excellent quality and satisfying entertainment.


Ringmaster 21/07/2011

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